Monday, August 21, 2006

Well, it made ME laugh.

Why would Beet Pulp pellets make anyone laugh? Well, I dunno, but I did.

Beet pulp pellets are a common horse feed. (They are a by-product of the Sugar Beet industry. Steam and shred Sugar Beets, squeeze all the sugar water out of them, and what you are left with is beet fiber. Press those into newspaper-grey pellets, and you can use them as livestock feed. It's a nutritious source of fiber, easily digestible, etc.)

A lot of people say you need to soak them thoroughly and feed them as a pasty mash added to grain, and some people feed beet pulp unsoaked. However, the first time you use these little grey power pellets, you will be AMAZED at how much water they can absorb, and how much volume they suddenly take up.

Here's a story about a woman who, with the unsolicited help of a squirrel, tried to discover exactly how much expansion took place.

Gave me the hiccups, I was laughing so hard. I keep imagining the sheer glee the squirrel felt upon discovering his beet pulp motherlode.

"And I'll put one over here. And I'll put one over here. Oo! One right here."


CindyS said...

I think I may have broke a rib! The pictures of the cute little rascal are also too much.


Mailyn said...

how cute is that lil guy?!?!?

re the compass. yes it was pointing at Jack because that's what she wanted most at that time. actually I don't like this whole triangle thing. I think it's silly and the movie doesn't need it.

re Naomi Novik...isn't she grand?!? I love the Termaire series!!!

Doug Hoffman said...

Why doesn't the dry feed expand in the belly, killing whomever eats it? I worry about that poor squirrel.

Cute devil, though.

Kristie (J) said...

LOL - that was cute. And I loved the little baby squirrel picture :)

sybil said...

LOL cute...

CindyS said...

Actually Doug brought up the question that was foremost in my mind also. Do the horses know to only eat a handful of this stuff because WHAM instant belly ache!

Like me and popcorn. I swear that stuff grows in the tummy. Oh to re-read the story again.


Suisan said...

Re: Expansion in the Belly.

When I was feeding Beet Pulp in the early 1980s there were dire warnings passed from one barn manager to the next about horses who had been fed *partially* soaked beet pulp who went on to colic. (Colic is what always ends up killing horses, no matter what the initial insult. When horses are in pain, they colic. Also, horses have no vomit reflex, neither can they burb to release gaseous build-up. If they are in distress, you have to pass a naso-gastric tube and essentially set up a siphon for them. Highly inconvenient. Death from colic is an unrecoverable loss in the equine insurance field. Death from laminitis, as in Secretariat, IS a recoverable loss, as long as the horse is put down before they eventually colic.)

Many barns with large numbers of horses on beet pulp started feeding it dry in the 1990s with no ill effects. As long as the horse has plenty of water to drink, there seems to be no problem. Also, if you're in a hot climate, the mashes can sour fairly quickly, so many managers don't want to feed mashes at all. For the novice horse owner though, it's always safer to soak.

Which brings up the question--how much water to add in order to completely soak the pellets, and how much expansion should you account for so that you don't have newspaper pulp all over your floor? Hence, the experiment detailed in the link.

If *I* were feeding beet pulp today, I'd soak it. Because horses don't always drink enough: serve them soup, they get fluids.

Re: The Triangle

Yeah, I don't think the movie needs it either.